Talking all things Spanish with maestro chef Andoni Luis Aduriz

Churros are not just dessert, and sangria is not the favourite drink in Spain, says chef Andoni Luis Aduriz.
The mad professor of global gastronomy— Spanish chef Andoni Luis Aduriz was in town and he interpreted a 10-course menu embodying the Mugaritz (his two Michelin starred restaurant) experience, through Indian ingredients.(Photo credit: Oscar Oliva)
The mad professor of global gastronomy— Spanish chef Andoni Luis Aduriz was in town and he interpreted a 10-course menu embodying the Mugaritz (his two Michelin starred restaurant) experience, through Indian ingredients.(Photo credit: Oscar Oliva)
Updated on Dec 15, 2018 12:25 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByAbhinav Verma, New Delhi

If you thought Spanish cuisine was all about thin tortillas, sangrias and chilies — you are in for a surprise. Spanish food is just as diverse, and rich in flavours as its Indian counterpart. Recently, the mad professor of global gastronomy— Spanish chef Andoni Luis Aduriz was in town and he interpreted a 10-course menu embodying the Mugaritz (his two Michelin starred restaurant) experience, through Indian ingredients, as a part of the ITC global tastes. Excerpts from a conversation with us:

Indian itinerary

India is a very interesting destination for us. The idea is to share our experience and to learn. To learn about products, people, culture, landscapes…

Chilled consommé: The kombu seaweed, traditionally used to make clear broths in Japan is usually aged for a year. “Ours, however, is three years old, and has developed a unique taste. This dish is inspired by our travels to Japan and its Kaiseki style of cuisine,” says Aduriz. (Photo credit: Jose Luis Lopez De Zubiria)
Chilled consommé: The kombu seaweed, traditionally used to make clear broths in Japan is usually aged for a year. “Ours, however, is three years old, and has developed a unique taste. This dish is inspired by our travels to Japan and its Kaiseki style of cuisine,” says Aduriz. (Photo credit: Jose Luis Lopez De Zubiria)

Linkages in Spanish and Indian cuisine

I would say that what Indian and Spanish cuisine have in common is that both are rich gastronomies with a great variety of ingredients, colours, and techniques. What I most appreciate in gastronomy is variety — of textures, colours, flavours, and India offers it all.

An Oyster’s Frozen Kiss is ‘a creation to lick, to slurp, to use your hands, tongue and all your body to feel and touch the sea’. The surprise and exploration of eating it leads us to a fresh and strong touch of salinity, almost like tasting the sea. (Photo credit: Jose Luis Lopez De Zubiria)
An Oyster’s Frozen Kiss is ‘a creation to lick, to slurp, to use your hands, tongue and all your body to feel and touch the sea’. The surprise and exploration of eating it leads us to a fresh and strong touch of salinity, almost like tasting the sea. (Photo credit: Jose Luis Lopez De Zubiria)
The dried hydrangea of cocoa was a result of an attempt to fix huge bubbles of chocolate, beetroots, honey, etc. The mix was later freeze-dried. It’s a dish of preserving an instant like a bubble across time. This dish has four ingredients that for Aduriz are essential: unpredictability, poetry, subtlety and containment. (Photo credit: Jose Luis Lopez De Zubiria)
The dried hydrangea of cocoa was a result of an attempt to fix huge bubbles of chocolate, beetroots, honey, etc. The mix was later freeze-dried. It’s a dish of preserving an instant like a bubble across time. This dish has four ingredients that for Aduriz are essential: unpredictability, poetry, subtlety and containment. (Photo credit: Jose Luis Lopez De Zubiria)

Busting Spanish food myths

Myth: Paella is for dinner/is a seafood dish

Truth: Paella (a rice dish) can be for dinner or lunch or for another time. It is a very versatile food and can be had with seafood, meat, fish.…

Myth: Churros are for dessert

Truth: At Mugaritz, we decided some years ago to blur the borders between ‘first dishes’, ‘second dishes’, ‘desserts’. We believe divisions limit the experience.

Myth: Dinner is at 6pm, is the main meal of the day

Dinner time is something cultural. In Spain, for example, we usually have it at 9pm. This hour is too late for the French or the English, who are used to having dinner pretty earlier.

Myth: Sangria is the favourite drink of the Spanish

Truth: I can’t say which drink Spanish people like the most. It also depends on the region. Where I live in the Basque Country, we drink a lot cider and txakoli (dry white wine).

Myth: Tapas is a food, that it’s meant to be ordered at once to make a full dinner, and that they are always small in size

Truth: Tapas are small portions of any kind of Spanish cuisine. They can be cold or hot, and perfect for sharing among different people, along with a good conversation.

Myth: Spanish food is spicy

Not especially.

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Monday, November 29, 2021